FirstLight Power has applied to relicense a number of exisiting hydroelectric power facilities on our portion of the CT River.  Greening Greenfield does not want these licenses to allow operations for another 50 years like the last 50 have been.  Read on to learn more background and see how you can Take Action

On January 24, 2022, Greening Greenfield held a web event entitled:
Save the Connecticut River:  New Opportunity to Speak Up on Relicensing

and we are thrilled to announce 



Our Request for public meetings has been heard!

Our legislative delegation is allowing us to share these June 2022 notes from their monthly meetings with EEA agreeing there will be FOUR public meetings.  THANK YOU to everyone who wrote.  It's a start.  


MassDEP has launched their new web page to help us track this process.  And it is confirming and giving details about the 4 public meetings.  Great work everyone!!
And more!
MassDEP has added an option to be added to their mailing list to be notified of updates to the 401 process.  We recommend you sign up to hear the latest.

 Current Status

As of early January 2023, another delay has been approved (see last 2 paragraphs), giving FirstLight until March 31 2023 and FERC until May 31 2023 to issue the REA notices.  See LEARN MORE for a description of the process. FirstLight has submitted a "final" Flow and Fish Passage Agreement to FERC, but it is not yet published.  Topics such as Erosion, Cultural Heritage, and Recreation are still being negotiated.  Don't forget that the "Final" Settlement Agreement, when it comes, is only "final" for the entities who agreed to it, which does not include all Interested Parties, nor the DEP itself, nor the FERC.

 FERC is now requiring updates every 2 weeks to demonstrate actual progress.

In Update #2, 2/10/23, FirstLight states that they held a full group settlement meeting 2/3, they have another planned for 2/17, and they list the status of the 5 aspects as follows:

  • Flows & Fish Passage: no change.  Awaiting signatures from those who have agreed;
  • Recreation: draft circulating 1/27 & requesting comments from Settlement participants by 2/10;
  • Erosion: no agreement;
  • Cultural Resources: no new updates;
  • Whitewater Recreation: no updates.


What's Next?  See Take Action for what DEP has agreed to and what still needs work.


Greening Greenfield would like as many people as possible to be involved in the relicensing effort, continuing to make local voices heard about the health of our river.


Although the federal government is the ultimate licensing agency, Massachusetts has the POWER to define how our river can be used, by issuing a Water Quality Certificate.  MassDEP* does not have a well-defined required process for soliciting public comment on a Water Quality Certification.  In the recent past, they have simply required a public notice in the newspaper, which is easily missed, and a 20-day comment period. This is now much better than that minimum, but we need to stay on top of their proposed process and convince them to get the details right. AND it appears that according to regulations they don't control, there will still only be 20 days in the FORMAL public comment period.  We have to pay attention.


FirstLight Power operates interrelated hydroelectric projects on the Connecticut River that are currently up for relicensing.  These hydro projects include

  • Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Facility
  • The "impoundment area" - the 20 miles of CT River above the Turners Falls Dam, from Barton Cove to Vernon, VT
  • Turners Falls Dam itself
  • Station One - a tiny power generating plant, and
  • Cabot Station 

Aerial Map here


Upstream dams in VT & NH are not covered here, but we urge you to learn about other relicensing projects from other sources, such as the Connecticut River Conservancy and Great River Hydro.


                                                                            CT River cropped                                                                                

Go to:


  • Prior action successes
  • A description of our new, current ACTION ITEMS:  Add yourself to lists for updates, & request better communication
  • Sample letters
  • Names and addresses 


Go to:

LEARN MORE for background information including:

  • Players
  • Process
  • Pumped storage: purpose and problems
  • $$ Two other notes on money $$
  • Links to other sources of information

Greening Greenfield is currently focusing on the PROCESS of relicensing, and urges you to contact other sources for more information about the technical aspects of river flow, erosion, fish habitat, recreation, and more, including

The Connecticut River Conservancy hydro pages

Karl Meyer's CommonWealth Journal article

                                                                                                                                              Connecticut River


AIP - Agreement in Principle

AFLA - Amended Final License Application

CRC - Connecticut River Conservancy

DEP or MassDEP - Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

EEA / EOEEA - Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

EIS - Environmental Impact Statement

FERC - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FL - FirstLight Power

FLA - Final License Application

FPA - Federal Power Act

GG - Greening Greenfield

ISO-NE - Independent Systems Operator - New England

MEPA - Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act

NRF - Naturally Routed Flow

PM&E - Protection, Mitigation, & Enhancement

REA - Ready for Environmental Analysis

TF - Turners Falls

USGS - United States Geological Survey (usually used in FirstLight documents for USGS "gage" or "gage flow")

WQC - Water Quality Certificate



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